“Well, what do you think Blinks? Everything’s opened up quite a bit more. I like it.”
“The little blue robot is a bit too close to me. Otherwise: wonderful. I’m so proud of you Baker Bloch. You really are the best janitor money can buy.”
“I try.” He smiles. “But what about you and Karoz? *You* guys are the center.”
“I… well, you know, we’re working on our separate things.”
“You still live down in Gloomy Gus, right?” Baker Bloch studied her expressions.
“Yeah, we still haven’t decided on the living arrangements. Karoz is up in his [Bodega] apartment for now. We’re comfortable with this arrangement. Plus, Wheeler trains in GG sometimes, so there’s that.”
“Hmm,” responds the male Baker. “So you guys are okay. You can be honest with me.”
“You mean Karoz and I or Wheeler and I? Just kidd’n. Karoz and I are fine. He has TILE, and I have my thing.”
“The wrestling thing,” Baker Bloch offers.
“Yeah.” Baker taps her fingers nervously on the table. “I’ve picked out our first mat. The confederation may be forming after all.”
“Is that the one you spilled wine on?”
“No, that was something else. That was Karoz’s fault. Just kidding again. It was both our faults. It got accidentally spilled all over a file in my cabinet.”
“The Wheeler file.”
“Yes,” Baker Blinker said. “The Wheeler file.”
“The Wheeler file?”
“That’s what she said,” responded Baker Bloch to Karoz. “Just 1/2 an hour ago. I was showing her the new town vistas. How’s it’s all opened up now. I also really like the way the headwaters of the Confluence Stream are exposed.”
“That’s actually called Middle or Central Stream, Baker Bloch. Confluence hasn’t been used in a long time — maybe way back in VWX Town days. I wasn’t around too much then. Thank you and your user for bringing me back in Collagesity, and for also reviving Baker Blinker in such a strong way.”
“You bet!” replied Baker. “There’s no sending you guys away again, believe you me. Baker Blinker is crucial. You two are married so that makes you safe as well.” Baker Bloch then thinks he should have worded that differently.
“I’m admittedly — how do I say this…”
Baker Bloch helps him out. “You’re worried about Wheeler.”
“Well… yes and no. 1/2 and 1/2, as Carrcassonnee might say in her Mouse-speak.”
“She was created as a warrior. A wrestler she be. You’re not upset about the projected mat?”
“No, no, it’s not that. Not really.”
“Then what?” Baker Bloch waited for an answer. Karoz took his time. Baker tried to aid him again. “Is it the wine, the spilling?”
“Yes, I suppose. I’d rather talk about TILE. My side of the story.”
“Alright, let’s talk about TILE.”
“So we just talked about TILE for a while and he said he needed to do some stuff at home and he left, Hucka Doobie. And Baker Blinker went to her own home to do her own stuff. It’s strange.”
“Like the 3 Pearls?” Hucka Doobie stated. “Like the 3 Stars?”
“What’s up with that?”
“There are worlds that want to remain separate but are actually linked in the darkness. The pitch black. Karoz Blogger and Baker Blinker are 2 such worlds. *Were*.”
“And now there’s a new world and new links spreading out. Thus the link to Nautilus and The World. The Dancer. I’m an expert on Nautilus if you remember.”
“I do, Hucka Doobie. You predicted the coming of Nautilus City. You predicted the coming of the Leviathan. You were a very active blog spirit at the time I was exploring Yd Island, exploring Austra around Mystenopolis. You know a lot. That’s why I asked to meet with you tonight. We interacted so much in the White Palace through our users — well, your user is you and my user is Baker B.”
“It’s complicated,” Hucka Doobie admits.
“Yeah, but I wanted to speak to both of them beforehand. And you’re right. The link isn’t really there any longer.”
“No,” Hucka Doobie spoke plainly.
“… the spilt wine,” Hucka Doobie completes. “You better think about BoB some more. Respond to Quito. You’ve responded to Maggie in Chilbo and that’s great. She doesn’t think Chilbo missed out on the boat. She departs from Fleep on this subject. And since you allied yourself with Fleep, at least in your mind…”
“Something about Sapphire being the queen of all of Jeogeot. There’s a bit of Fleep in Sapphire.”
“Yes,” Hucka Doobie answers. “But there’s more. Return to Karoz.”
Baker pauses to look at The Thinker fronting his namesake rock.
“Thank you for meeting with me again, Karoz. Hucka Doobie said you wouldn’t mind and she’s almost always right on these things.”
“No, that’s fine. I couldn’t sleep anyway. I’m having trouble with that lately. I keep seeing lights over at Sikkima, at the old sinkhole. I think it may be the ghost of Collagesity past. Or whatever it was named at the time. VWX Town? No… New Pietmond, that was it. How could ghosts occur there? The past is leaking through, I feel. We are becoming unstable again. I worry about our future.”
“Another round for you guys?” Furry Karl chips in.
“No, we better cap it at one for me,” Baker Bloch responds.
“No thanks,” Karoz replies in turn.
“Well… I’m closing in about 15 minutes just to warn you. I have a party to attend.”
“Where’s that?” asked a curious Baker Bloch.
“Over at my other bar, actually. The one next to the woods. It’s a private thing, if you get what I mean. Flatties only. No 3d-ers. No true avatars. Just guys and gals like me. Nothing smutty mind you. Just conversation. And, yeah, some nudity. But not much. Just a shirt pulled off here, some pants there. But nothing else. Just freedom, you know.”
“Well,” responds Karoz positively, “whatever curls your whiskers, Furry. Whatever turns you on and makes you happy. You Flatties have a hard life serving us third dimensionals. You deserve a break to unwind.”
“Here’s to Furry Karl,” Baker also adds. “The best bartender money can buy.” He raises his glass to Karl and downs the last bit of beer. Karoz also polishes off his Heinny bottle in the same toast.
“So what were we talking about Karoz?” Baker then says after Furry Karl goes in back to start closing up.
“I haven’t the foggiest.”
“You about ready to head out doll face, hehe? Just joking. You’re not invited.”
“I just had to make sure that door wasn’t phantom still.” Furry Karl checks the orange portal door — indeed locked. “Don’t wait up for me, sweets.”
“I won’t,” Star replied, shocking the flattie bartender.
“Well I’ll be,” says Furry Karl. “Hey guys,” he calls through the wall. “She’s alive. She’s alive! Star’s alive!” The other two came running. It was a joyous night for all. And after hearing the news, Space Ghost forgot all about his cane again in rushing to the bar.
The very next day they got married. Who? you ask? Why Starbuccarina and Space Ghost! Jorondip was, once more, the honeymoon destination. And Star made sure Space didn’t leave anything behind this time.